It’s remarkable to me that the four of us have been fellows for 9 weeks now. It has been a vortex of learning, re-learning, discovery, travel, and growth. When we began we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. But we quickly learned we couldn’t have even dreamed up this ideal of a job if we tried. So here it is a quick overview of what we have been up to.
We listened. We sat down with people from across the country who taught us about the disease, healthcare, policy, innovation, and design. At this point we’ve met with over 75 stakeholders, including but definitely not limited to the Governor of Delaware, patients, Director of a Heart Failure program, a Heart Failure nurse, a former President of the American Heart Association, the CEO of Care at Hand, and a design consultant.
We simulated a heart failure patient’s treatment plan, to the best we could.
We spent time in the hospital. We went on rounds on the heart failure ward with the cardiologist, residents, and fellows. We shadowed the case managers, nurses, and social workers as they reviewed patients’ status in the hospital. We talked to patients in the out-patient clinic and a cardiac rehabilitation facility. And we began to understand where the opportunities to improve heart failure delivery were both in and out of the clinical setting.
We traveled. We learned about Heart Failure in Las Vegas at the Heart Failure Society of America conference; had a mini-startup boot camp at John Hopkins University Innovation Factory Summit; watched pitches at Blueprint Health’s Demo Day in NYC; competed, and in Nick’s case won, NYC Lean Startup Machine Weekend; cheered on fellow startups at 1776’s Challenge Cup in DC; and immersed ourselves in the med tech community at the Connected Health Symposium in Boston.
We narrowed our focus. We identified 10 key themes about heart failure delivery that we heard from all the stakeholders.
And now we are moving on to the next step in the process. We will be working to build a solution based on a specific hypothesis related to heart failure delivery. We will be identifying our customer, testing our assumptions, and building a minimal viable product in line using Lean Startup methodology.
All in all it has been an incredible two months. We can’t express how much we appreciate your support throughout the process! Stay tuned as we close out the initial observation and data collection phase and start to build a prototype.
Check out a snapshot of some of the organizations we’ve had the opportunity to meet with over the last 10 weeks.